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TimkenSteel Develops New Process for Speedier High-Pressure Tubing

CANTON, Ohio—TimkenSteel, a provider of customized alloy steel products and services, recently announced it developed a new process to manufacture high-pressure tubing (HPT) to produce low-density polyethylene (LDPE).

TimkenSteel recently accepted its first order of HPT for a major petrochemical producer. TimkenSteel reports that its new process will solve a decades-old supply problem. The firm said in a press release that over the last decade, HPT for LDPE environments has had extended supply chains that created long lead times for North American customers.

"We have developed a more streamlined process using the assets and operations we have in place to create cost efficiencies,” said Shawn Seanor, TimkenSteel's executive vice president of sales and business development, in a press release. “HPT that previously took more than a year to produce now takes a matter of months. Another advantage our process offers is flexibility, allowing customers to buy smaller lot sizes."

TimkenSteel's new HPT process begins in Canton, where its special bar quality (SBQ) steel is forged-rolled and heat treated. It is then sent to TimkenSteel Material Services in Houston, where it is bored and honed.

To increase sales, TimkenSteel entered into a supply agreement with A&A Machine & Fabrication, LLC, of La Marque, Texas, to further process, market, and sell HPT for LDPE customers. A&A reported that it completed reliability testing to ASME code on prototype tubing, and processed that material to industry fabrication requirements in order to illustrate material performance. A&A and TimkenSteel met with end-users to gain market acceptance of the material.

Operating from five countries, TimkenSteel posted sales of $1.1 billion in 2015 and was named Steel Producer of the Year by American Metal Market.

"HPT users will be able to plan projects with a more accurate forecast due to the shorter lead times and ease of inspection and oversight of the manufacturing process," said C. Alan Hutchins, president and CEO of A&A, in the release.

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